As a boy, I was taught not to gloat or say an unkind word about the less fortunate, even poor Joey Corrigan, who had (I'm not kidding) a head that was almost perfectly flat.
No one ever took a level and placed it on the boy's head -- we were too polite for that. But if they had, that bubble would've landed smack dab in the middle. Even his mother once said to my mother: "Joey has the oddest-shaped head, doesn't he?"
"Oh, no, don't be silly, Marge," my mother replied, and then she buried her head in a dish towel to keep from laughing.
The kid had a flat head, it was that simple. Not that it proved to be much of a handicap. The last I heard, he was on Wall Street making millions.
Anyway, I didn't say anything about Joey Corrigan's head and I'm not going to say much about my new leaf vacuum/blower, except that it's terrific and I'm sure you wish you had one, but you don't.
Maybe you're even one of those poor saps who was out today raking leaves, breaking your back, raking and raking and bagging those leaves until your muscles screamed and you had to slather yourself with that awful-smelling Ben-Gay.
In which case I feel sorry for you, I really do. God, you're pathetic.
I myself no longer own a rake, and you wouldn't either if you had just bought a gleaming gas-powered piece of leaf-gathering machinery, which unfortunately is now being re . . . well, never mind where it is. We'll get to that later. I don't know why you have to be so nosy. Who are you with, anyway? The police?
Here are some of the features of my new leaf vacuum/blower: a solid-state ignition. An easy-pull recoil starter. A 2-cycle, 32cc, zTC air-cooled engine that develops 170 mph air velocity with 360 cfm at nozzle.
Yeah, it's pretty awesome. By the way, cfm stands for cubic feet per minute, which you probably didn't know since, here it is, 1993, and you're still using a rake.
Look, Charlemagne used a rake, OK? Benjamin Franklin used a rake. Fiorello La Guardia used a rake. The 21st century is right around the corner. You really ought to get with the times.
Anyway, my new leaf vacuum/blower also comes equipped with an adjustable throttle and rear-mounted assist handle, not to mention a low-tone muffler. This thing is so quiet you might not even know I'm there gathering up the leaves. Whereas I know exactly when you're out there raking, because I can hear all the cursing. You hate your life, don't you?
This new gizmo of mine also has a 2-bushel vacuum bag. Which means that while you're out there killing yourself with a completely outdated tool that's raising blisters the size of half-dollars on your hands, I'll be leisurely placing a lightweight plastic tube on the ground and sucking up vast quantities of leaves while sipping a nice glass of red wine.
I don't even like wine, either, but I would sip it while gathering up my leaves just to drive you crazy.
Admit it, you're pretty envious right now. I don't blame you.
This leaf vacuum/blower has another neat feature, which I hesitate to mention for fear of making you feel so badly that you might decide life is not worth living and throw yourself in front of a train. Or you might be so consumed with rage that you'll go out and hurt someone.
Well, OK, here goes: This leaf vacuum/blower has a gutter kit, OK?
This is a series of plastic tubes that assembles to 10 feet in length so I can -- here's the part that'll make you wig out -- clean the leaves from my gutters while walking alongside the house!
This means I don't have to be climbing up on ladders and sticking my hands in all that black goop up in the gutters, like you do. Ha, ha, ha.
I didn't buy the gutter kit yet, but I will. It only costs 25 bucks. And when I do buy it, you'll feel even worse than you do now, which is pretty bad, I'm sure.
As to exactly how well the leaf vacuum/blower works, well, I haven't actually used it yet. See, we had a little problem. The stupid thing wouldn't start when I brought it home from the store.
But I called the store and a very nice man named Marvin said they'd fix it as soon as possible, which is more than your store would do for you.
You probably don't even know anyone at your store, whereas Marvin and I are like this -- you can't see it, but I'm holding my two fingers together very tightly.
Anyway, when my leaf vacuum/blower is fixed and I finally use it, I might write about it again, just to get you even madder than you are now.
Don't bother telling me that you're not mad, either.
Don't even bother.